Apple is apparently stepping up its China operations, according to a number of new job postings found on LInkedIn by the Wall Street Journal today. The company has listed nearly 300 openings on the professional social networking site, which include key senior positions related to environmental program management.
Apple has been dinged by environmental and labor watchdog groups for its supply partners' transgressions in both areas, and it consistently responds saying it will look into and improve these issues. Apple is also looking to hire more retail presence, and increased retail operations has really helped push product line growth in the past, for devices like the iPhone and iPad especially.
But Apple's presence in China has been declining, at least relative to other smartphone makers. It was down to 5 percent share in Q2 this year, earning it a seventh place overall ranking, after owning just under 10 percent of the market a year previous, the WSJ points out. And its revenue during its fiscal Q3 this year dropped 43 percent in China sequentially, and 14 percent year over year.
Part of the problems Apple faces in the country might also be attributable to issues that arose between Chinese state media agencies and the company earlier this year. As Forbes put it, for all intents and purposes it looked as though China was potentially “declaring war” on Apple, as Forbes put it in an article at the time.
It's no secret that China prefers home-grown businesses to those who come in from the outside. The Chinese government is even collaborating with UK-based Canonical to build a version of Ubuntu that's a native, China-first OS, which, while it employs foreign expertise, is ultimately about weaning its citizenry off of more popular and U.S.-controlled operating systems.
Apple setting down deeper roots and putting more investment on the ground in China makes a lot of sense if it wants to avoid being locked out by Beijing. Combine that with being closer to a very key customer base, as well as having more direct oversight when it comes to supply partners, and a hiring surge in China is the most natural thing in the world for the Mac maker.